Field hospital to be installed in May Pen as COVID cases continue to riseFriday, July 23, 2021
By Brittny Hutchinson
A field hospital will be installed in May Pen to provide an additional capacity of 40 beds, as the country prepares for a possible surge in coronavirus cases.
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie made the announcement at the health ministry's COVID Conversations digital press conference on Thursday.
She said the field hospital is being provided with support from the United States Southern Command.
“That field hospital is actually in the country and it will be delivered hopefully by the end of this week and then it takes another five to seven days for set up and that will give us additional capacity in the southern side of the island,” Bisasor-McKenzie said.
“We also have a loan arrangement with a private entity and the National Health Fund (NHF) for two additional field hospitals that are in the country and our instructions are that if the trend continues to go up, we will move immediately to utilise them,” she added.
Bisasor-McKenzie said that the occupancy rates at the field hospitals which are being utilised are low at this time, but with a surge in COVID-19 cases, there will be an increase.
She is also urging health facilities to get into preparation mode with medical equipment and supplies to deal with the possible surge in COVID-19 cases.
“How high we go [in cases] is where the challenge is but we do expect the numbers to go up. They [health facilities] should be in that mode now to be looking at what they have prepared, to make sure that they are ready,” she said.
“The main challenge in this area of course is our human resources because we do know that we have challenges especially where our nurses are concerned and especially in activating those high dependency and critical care beds where we do require higher ratio of staff to patient,” she said.
COVID-19 cases are rising across the country.
On Tuesday, the number of positive COVID-19 cases rose to triple digits for the first time in months, with 122 confirmed cases of the virus.
For Wednesday, 138 new cases were recorded, representing a further increase.
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